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FreedomFest 2011 Education. (2011) Todd Buchholz ('Rush Why You Need and Love the Rat Race.')

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  CSPAN    Book TV    FreedomFest 2011  Education.  (2011) Todd  
   Buchholz ('Rush Why You Need and Love the Rat Race.')  

    July 30, 2011
    11:50 - 12:40am EDT  

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paid. dass at comet death threats against my family. this stuff is what sport. make no mistake about it. this is why such rotten people are in public life because either they are the kind of insensitive people who aren't hurt are those kinds of things or they are just as puritanical fanatics that you can't get anything. either way you don't want the ruling you. so what is the ayn rand lesson here? well, you can type power. you identify a force of evil like paul krugman. if you want to make your hobby or mission like i did, take this guy down a peg, pull a few things to make them less powerful. pay a price. the you can do it.
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now, with a book signings coming up with me and john allison and the laissez-faire youth right after here. we want you all to come. i waited to buy a copy of the book, get it signed and i promise i will accuse menefee was stalking me. [laughter] [applause] thank you very, very much. [applause] >> this event was part of freedom fest, a libertarian conference held annually in las vegas. to find out more visit freedom fest.com.
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>> now, more from freedom fest 2011. todd buchholz, author of "rush." this runs about 50 minutes. [inaudible conversations] >> all right, hello and welcome back. we are here to debate the rat race, good or bad for americans. the first is mr. todd buchholz come a former white house director of economic policy, award-winning harvard professor, a managing air of the tiger hedge fund and the author of several books, including most recently "rush: why you need and love the rat race." so, he will be arguing the pro side of robbery scene. now, taking the opposite point of view will be dr. mark skousen, a professional economist, investment expert,
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professor of rollins college and columbia business school, founder of freedom fest, the world largest neediness reminds him also the author of more than two dozen books, including most recently, the maxims of wall street. now, lily tomlin once said that the trouble with the rat race is even if you win, you are still a rat. but mr. buchholz will disagree with that point of view. but then the more lackadaisical mark scouts skousen will put up a defense. i have to say, mark once told me how beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterwards. [laughter] the perfect man to take the opposing point of view. first, mr. buchholz will speak for 20 minutes on his book and the advantages of of the rat race. and then mark skousen take 10
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minutes to rebut his point of view and then open the floor for questions. so please, mr. buchholz. car back >> thank you alex for that kind introduction. alex was nice enough to read everything they never had written down, which was good. mark, it is great to be here at freedom fest. i have to tell you i'm here because a month or so ago mark called me up and said todd, do you believe in free speech? they said yes, of course i believe in free speech. he said well, are you sure you believe in free speech? instead you know my new book on the front cover has a quote from milton friedman endorsing a book. of course i believe in free speech. he said that when you come to my congress to give a speech for free? [laughter] and here i am today with you now. i am doing this favorite -- it is not a favor for mark.
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it is obviously good for me and good for one here i hope. i would like you all to stand up for just a moment. please stand up. thank you, thank you. alex is going to stand up. i just want to see if i had the power to get 500 libertarians to do what i want. hold on -- now you can greet each other for a moment, say hello to your neighbor. very good. and now please sit down. please down. thank you very much. you know what? i may have just saved your life. i may have just saved your life by getting you to stand out. according to the american journal of cardiology, people who sit down for too long during the day had 125% greater chance of developing a cardiac event.
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now, think about that for a moment and ask yourself, would we all be better off as a society if we quit the rat race, if we retreated, if we crossed her legs into the lotus superposition had hummed and murmured all day long? i think not. i have to tell you, took me a long time to come to that conclusion. i made a mistake at about five years ago i began writing a book and researching in the book was going to be called dale hunters, how americans are chasing success and losing their souls. i was convinced as a result of competitive forces and media images americans were all trying to get it to the tail end of the bell curve of the train to be the richest, the ms, the best looking and i thought of is making us miserable. at white house or harvard or hedge fund, i've had plenty of lunches with billionaires and
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socialite who were that so much plastic surgery to look like they are the best, reentering the work atmosphere. i've seen some of the damage here. but what i realized was that even though most of us are stuck in the middle of the bell curve, and most of us are right to be the richest or the best looking or have the smartest. it is not the endgame that matters. it's the progress, they trying, the effort, the endeavor. that is what gives us the best chance of grasping happiness in this crazy confounding convoluted world of ours. i have to tell you, this puts me not just opposed to perhaps mark's point of view, but the social psychologists, the behavioral economist, the psychologists, philosophers, creatures, zen masters have all
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concluded that they have to be wrong. if all concluded capitalism, trade, what they call the rat race and strafing us crazy. but in fact, when you look carefully at assertions and try to make sense of it from a scientific point of view, from a philosophical point of view, from an economic history point of view, the arguments are too easy to spout and too shallow to hold water. nonetheless they try. why? they concluded in the 20th century capitalism became the new original sin. i forget genesis in the garden of vegan in the original sin from the bible. they believe capitalism became the new original sin, that we are infected with capitalism, we are infected with market and this has corrupted us then this is the plague carried a call these people even notice because they somehow didn't we can go back in time, the terrorists in
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paradise, from simpler life we can retreat to the somehow was going to make us happier. either way, this is not just philosophical musings. the israel policy prescriptions behind their assertions. they tell us we need higher taxes in order to discourage assumption, asked her word. they believe they need more regulations. they believe the more egalitarian society are prepared to put policy in place to make that happen. daniel gilbert, where they went psychologists at harvard as summarized happiness findings because they are journalists of happiness and science of happiness. he says quote, windfalls are better than flat false. is there better than cds and everything is better than a republican administration. another behavioral economist as
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a pie and a quote that he doesn't see how anybody could do the happiness cannot find himself leaning to the left politically. robert frank, well-known economist at cornell uses the metaphor of trees. he says we're like trees in the forest, where one tree grows higher than another. it casts a shadow in the other tree must keep up were also both died and we are in this endless race. if only we could cap things and come to an agreement to stop trying to stop competing, then we would have a more lustful life. well, i think this is wrong and you hear this also couched in terms of greed and people shouldn't covet. they are coveting their neighbor. of course the bible says don't covet your neighbor, your neighbor's wife, your neighbor's ways livestock. but let me ask you this.
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if coveting is bad, what about coveting somebodies was done for patients or ingenuity for hard work? .. who ran the british coal board. he tried to apply buddhist principles to the economy and he
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came up at the idea of enough in us. we have had enough progress. we have enough material goods. he said modern society quote require so much and accomplishes so little. that is true i suppose if you forget that in 1900, life expectancy was just 47 years of age, and polio crippled millions of children. in fact small is not better or happier and there's a difference between the simple life and the life of a simpleton. now let's quickly -- hedonists. i'm not a fan of conspicuous consumption. i don't own a rolex watch. i don't like a rolex watch. boy, this is going to be broadcast. i will never be the spokesperson for rolex. i find into glitzy. might children complain because we have a small television in the neighborhood. my brother comes over to watch up a ballgame and my brother
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says you still watching tv on a microwave oven? i'm not one of these guys who's going to be jet setting about to ski with the -- right? however i have to ask myself whether we as a society or we as individuals would be any happier if we got off the treadmill, but became hermits and recluses. if we tried to set up the competitive urges and throw the entire societal treadmill into the bonfire. number one, any system involving human beings that lasts longer than a few years and involves more than a few people will be competitive. you don't think the soviet union was competitive? you don't think mao's china was competitive? they weren't competing to come up with the best telephone or computer system. you would compete to see whether you would get the box to get you one cold shower once a week.
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you are competing for the scraps on the table in a zero-sum game so there is always competition. the question is whether we want to channel our competitive urges towards prosperity and advancement or we want to turn our competitive urges in on ourselves to compete with those less graphs on the table. second, we cannot go back to the eden. even if eden existed, we have evolved and we wouldn't find it so pleasant and so much like paradise. we are no longer shooting for paradise. number three, this dastardly desire to compete and acquire is not cheaply driven by craft materialism. is not cheaply driven by snarky advertising executives to trick people into buying products they don't want. we are in the rat race. we work and we try because we are trying to gain self-respect. we are trying to demonstrate our worth to others and to ourselves.
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we go to work not just for the paycheck but for the attaboy, the slap on the back, the good job done that gives us somehow deep in our dna is sense that maybe our genes will be able to remote themselves and their family lines will live on. that is what is deep down in us, not some crack materialism to fill our closets with a lot of job. look, number four, without the competitive urges, let's face it, none of us here would he here today. we here today, everyone on earth today our forefathers and for mothers were the folks who figured out how to escape the trampling mastodons. we are the descendents of those people are figured out how to escape the raging saber toothed tigers. we are made of sterner stuff that i think the psychologist and the philosophers and economists give us credit for. look, we could go back in time. we could go back to a simpler life. let's go back 120 years.
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there was no internet. there was no traffic on the road. there was no telemarketer who interrupts year dinner with your family but as i said life expectancy was 47. would we want to go back to that simpler time? not need. the enemy of rushing around, the enemy, those who try to quash the rushing around, the enemy is tyranny. let me juxtapose robert frank's tree metaphor. many of you may be from a with a canadian band who coincidently is called rush. they have a song called the trees. here are the lyrics. there is unrest in the forest. there is trouble with the trees. with their maples want more sunlight and the oaks ignore their pleas. it sounds just like it is from the cornell economic department. so the maples formed a union and demanded equal rights. the oaks are just too greedy. we will make them give us light.
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now there is no more oak oppression for they passed a noble law and the trees are all kept equal by hatchet, ax and saw. okay i'm going to argue on three grounds. for the rushing around. number one, on neuroscience. number two on economic history and number three on culture. from a neurological point of view, we have a fault to move forward, not stasis. we have in our brains as human beings today large frontal lobes. these are our windows to the future. the frontal lobe allows us to move in plan and decides to invent and try something new. number two we have neurotransmitters. dopamine for instance. dopamine is a neurotransmitter, chemical in your brain that gives you an extra burst of
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pleasure not when you win a game, but when you try. dopamine gives you that sense of pleasure when you are attempting something new, when you are taking a risk. it could be the teenage boy asking the girl to the prom. it could be the entrepreneur deciding to start a new business. these factors show me that human beings are meant to move forward, not to stay in one place. number two, economic history. for most of human history, men and women have lived snow better on two legs then they have on for. for most of human history, we have lived no better on two legs then perhaps our descendents, our ancestors did before homo sapiens. there was no prosperity.
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there was no moving up in life expectancy. it has been the rushing around that has fundamentally changed the human experience and at the same time, rather than make thing less greedy, bitter and nasty in russia to point out that violence levels have gone down as trade and commerce and this rat race has gone up. honesty levels have gone up. there is the noble savage myth starting with jon jacques cousteau and then of course margaret mead and looks like tarzan was somehow tried to persuade us that people who are uncivilized or more noble than people who live in modern day. that is plain wrong because when you prepare honesty levels and trust levels among aboriginal tribes, and among ourselves, the aboriginal tribes in fact don't come off so well. number three, culture.
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we as human beings, we like drama. we don't like stasis. we get bored. even children know this. fairytales. the good ones are not warring. they tend to have some bad characters. they have tension in them. follow the yellow brick road and you get a really scary greenwich at the end and flying monkeys. who now funny enough are in congress, but that is a whole different story. i was in florence italy two weeks ago in a tape my kids to see michael angelo's david and you know before michelangelo and before the renaissance i have to tell you i think that painting was pretty boring. you look at the madonna sculpted prior to the renaissance, and they are so without emotion, so without tension that you would think the painter used botox on how to freeze any kind of
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emotion. but why are michael angelo's works so lauded, so appreciated? why do we stand in line to see them? because they demonstrate tension. there for road brow of michelangelo's david. go see moses and rome and he will save rippling muscles of arnold's portion maker would be envious of. to take it more in a pop-culture kind of way, there is a movie festival as part of the great freedomfest. the movie rocky. remember the movie rocky? at the end of that movie bears the boxing match. the bell rings and the movie is basically over at that point and do you know what? we don't care as viewers whether rocky won or lost because it is not the winning or losing that matters. it is the trying. it is the effort. it is the endeavor. it is the exertion of energy and sweat and intelligence. that is what we want to see him that and that is what creates success in human history. by the way, i would urge all of
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you while you are in las vegas go down to the palazzo hotel and see the show, jersey boys the tony award-winning musical. has anyone seen jersey boys? you need to see it again because i'm among the coproducers and then i really need the money. at the end of that show the frankie valli character says this. they ask you what was the highpoint? was it being inducted into the rock 'n roll hall and fame? was at selling all those records? was a pulling the song cherie out of the hat? he said that was all great but when it was for guys under that lamppost, when it was a bunch of us that was the sweetest moment. the sweetest moment for us are not the finale but the effort, the rushing around. so i would say this, getting to a conclusion here. anybody who is condemning the modern economy as it is structured must answer this. at what point in the past which would you have said enough?
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one a.d.? i'm sure there would be one a.d. who thought rome is perfect. we have plenty here in rome. of course they have malaria, syphilis and dead people to the lions. how about 1955? you have rossi and harriett, happy days, the eisenhower era. we should have said enough in 1955. enough didn't mean more material goods. 1954, tens of thousands of children were struck with polio. would it would have been enough? when did it david and? when jonas salk a lab rat if you will, came out of his laboratory one night with a vial made up of chemicals but created through his sweat, through his tireless effort, through his running around trying to devise something new. thank god he didn't say enough. these questions, these questions for anyone who condemns the
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darwin rat race we are in, without the heated competition we have with life expectancy of present from 47 to 80? in 1800 affluent people towered over less affluent people, literally inches taller. wood and poor people still be shrunken today if we didn't have this rat race? wooden poor and median income people the morning over at dead infants as they did before the rat race began because only rich people seem to have surviving babies and then of course this is the freedomfest. there is the question of freedom. the traditional societies before the rat race. if your father grew corn, you grew corn. if your father was a printer his father was a printer and he would be a printer. if your father was a blacksmith at a young age he would start looking at horse votes yourself and you couldn't imagine doing anything different. but freedom burst out amid the competition and that is what we
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must embrace. ronald reagan, his father was a failed shoe salesman. thank god ronald reagan did not follow his father's path or else perhaps the soviet union would still be standing. although we would all be wearing hush puppies or whatever ronald reagan would successfully sell to us. look, this world we live in, it is confounding, it is irritating, it is confusing. it is at times exasperating. but i assure you, you will never be happy if you listen to someone who tells you quote, said down, you are rocking the boat. thanks very much. thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. [applause] >> let me first quote venue tank.
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in fact you can pass me her book and i will put it up next to yours at an appropriate moment. let me "the libertarian chinese philosopher of the 20th century. my favorite chinese philosopher. who developed a philosophy of letting go. that was the title of his philosophy. he said oh wise humanity, terribly wise humanity, how in scribble is the civilization where men toil and work and worried their hair great to get a living and forget to play? and i thought about this, and it is actually because i have some leisure time wandering the streets of durango colorado that i discovered the venue tank.
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if i was that busy body, if i was the guy who had two cell phones one and e. cheer and i have seen people like that. they are not here at freedomfest or if they are they are here for a brief period of time. you see the concept of leisure time is an extremely important one. i looked in his book rush, and i looked in the index in the back under leisure. is mentioned three times and in every case it is mentioned in somewhat of a negative sense. and you know all of us have been involved with the rat race. i was involved in the rat race. in fact my family and i were living in washington d.c. and that is the rat race if there ever was one. we now call it death star. for good reason i think. but we decided to get out of the rat race. we move to the bahamas for two years and it was life in living
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color. and it wasn't that we didn't do any work. of course i wrote my newsletter. i wrote a book, couple of books while i was there. i was engaged but it is all about aristotle's concept of balance. you know in today's society it is very easy to become overworked and over busy. we are living in the age of dizziness and i well remember in the bahamas when we were living there and in the evenings we threw away our tv. no tv at all. you have a small tv. we simply for our tv away in and if we want to see the super bowl or something like that we went over to france homes and had a great social time. so my wife joanne invited one of her friends and her husband down. and her husband was one of these super tight day, had to constantly be on the run. he was a dealmaker. there were no deals to be made at our home in the bahamas. we pulled out of rummy cube and
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we were playing that in the evening and he just couldn't take it. finally he moved to the hotel away from his family, did they deal with the guy at the hotel and then left early and went back. he could not -- the idea of a vacation to him made absolutely no sense. so i know what todd is saying here. i certainly support everything he says about the free economy and we should not discourage any freewheeling entrepreneurship. people, they want to work 18 hours a day, more power to them. i am totally opposed to the french 34 hour, 35 day week schedule and that interference. todd and i run the same page there but as far as your personal life is concerned, you have to have balance. so you were, you get a lot of benefit from work, but you get a lot of benefit.
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todd talks about this. he talks about the sports figures and then it names. you talk about the nick name thing and being involved in sports. i played county sports and i played church basketball and i played golf with alec green. i do not play competitive game of golf, as he knows. it is a walk spoiled, so i make up new terms. i don't use the term bogey. i say that it was a fabulous baby and it is one over par. if i get to over part is a fantastic baby and i am more upbeat about it. so the competitive thing, it is a good walk spoiled. i'm not really a big fan of that sort of thing. so, here we are at freedomfest and i found there were two kinds of people who come to freedomfest. there are those who are so busy that they come in and they are lucky to be here a day or two. then they have got to go and they have got to do this or
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that, what have you. especially speakers. there really are two kinds of speakers. we encourage speakers to come and spend all three days at freedomfest and just relax and go to sessions that have nothing to do with what they do normally in business. you just take it as a break away from finance. if you are a finance person, go to the arts and literature and science and technology. we have music here with bob gruenberg and the teaching company, number one teacher. that room should be packed. it was about half full when he talked about it in disguise the number one teacher. he has 28 courses on classical music. i'm hoping on saturday he is in the same room and palace three, four and five. bob gruenberg is going to talk about music that has caused riots. it is really i think going to be
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an interesting topic. but that is me. i am an eclectic person. i'm interested in a wide variety of topics. so i will never forget my first experience with steve forbes. steve, i've known mr. forbes for many years. he spoke at the money show and so forth so i invited him to come to freedomfest. and so jackie his secretary called and said this is mr. forbes schedule. he is a very busy man. he is flying in. is going to give his speech. is going to sign a few books and then fly back generic that very day. why? because he is a very easy man. jackie could be stay around and get a feel for the conference and maybe attends the mother conferences? no, no, he is a very busy man. he is a celebrity and this and that. he doesn't have time for this. one week later, his secretary
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calls back and says mr. forbes has reviewed your three day schedule and he has changed his schedule. and he is decided to stay all three at freedomfest. and he has been attending freedomfest every time and he is there all three days. this one being an exception because he had major surgery but he has promised to be back here next year. he has become the ambassador to freedomfest. if you look on my business card, it says freedomfest, so good i change my schedule to attend all three days. i talk to him about this. he says you know i go do all this conferences and give these speeches. i give them and i leave at your conference is so unique, i can learn new things. i can relax. people treat me as a regular person. i can walk through the hall and have a great time. so, there is a lot to be said for that.
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you know there's a great religious leader who said happiness, you have quite a bit of unhappiness which i find absolutely fascinating. economies of all people are in the forefront of doing all the studies about happiness. but one of my religious leaders said, there are four keys to happiness. won his work. he put work first. i think that is important. if you don't work, work brings a lot of happiness. that number to copy also have to have played, leisure time. leisure time is extremely important. and number three is love and friendship. that is really important. love and friendship. you know if you are too busy you don't have love. and you don't have friendship. you have to spend quality time. you have got to spend quantity time with your loved ones and your friends and how often does a friend call you up and say hey cover you doing? i just wanted to call and see how things are?
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now in today's busy world the only people who call our because they need something. they are in business. it is like the rothschild, the famous rothschild. they had no friends. they only had clients. there is something to be said for that. i will tell you one final story and then we can open it up to questions and by the way we have a microphone right there. you will want to line up to ask questions on these various issues that we have raised. i had a dear friend of mine, bob templar, my publisher when i first started on the business. is managing editor of personal finance newsletter and bob kephart was my publisher. he was one of those guys that was really into work, work, work. and tragically he died rather young. i will never forget the time i called them up and i said hey,
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bob, i am in orlando. you were in tampa. let's take a break and let's go to the yankee game. it was springs training in march. let's go to the yankees game together. i will drive down and let's do it tomorrow. what do you say? he said mark, you need to give me at least two months advance notice before we can get together. and i get this more and more. if i died tomorrow, would you be at my funeral? obviously not. you didn't prepare too much in advance for your funeral, so i'm kind of hoping that ally graham who is one of my buddies will drop everything to come to my funeral because we are golfing buddies or whatever. we have done a lot together and it is great but friendship is so important. how many of us have friends who are willing to take the time to take a break and go and play a game of golf or spend a couple of days together doing something? you don't plan away and it can't. you just get up and do it.
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people call me all the time. is this a good time to talk? i try my best to say, any time you call this a good time to talk. occasionally there is an exception. i had ruined my family are going have five children and my rule as they were growing up, i said any time my kids -- i work at home. anytime my kids can watch the broom and say dad can you take me to so-and-so? can you do this or that, my rule is to drop everything right then and there, forget the business and go do it. i want you to know in the 30 years that my kids, 25 years my kids for whom i never violated that rule and let me tell you it was not easy because i had deadlines. i will never forget the one time i had a hard deadline that was due in two hours and writing my newsletter and nice and came in and said dad, can we go out in the vote. we lived on the lake in virginia. not virginia, late virginia in winter park and could we go wake
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boarding? he loved will wake boarding. i knew that was a whole hour of my time to go wake boarding. he said dad coming kelly coax? this is my toughest task and i said the heck with it. i just left it behind and we went out -- out and went wake boarding for whole hour. i made my deadline. i was really surprised. not that i am the greatest father in the world. i made a lot of mistakes and so forth but that is one thing i'm proud of with my kids, that i spent the time to do that. i think in today's world, this busyness. lin utang, this wonderful book the importance of living which has been recently reprinted, by a little brown. i will if you won quote that i've will put on the blackboard of my very first class at columbia business school. you know what mba students are like. if you look the other way, if you paused they are on their
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blackberries. i mean it is just crazy. so i wrote on the book is quote from lin utang. those who are wise want a busy and those who are too busy can't be wise. now as a result of that, i lost a third of my students at columbia. i ended up with 25 students in my class but those who stuck around really enjoyed it. okay, so i have run out of time but, ask if you have questions. let's take the questions. alex do you want to handle that? that would be great. thank you very much. [applause] >> please feel free to line up if you have a question. i want to say one thing that mr. skousen makes an important case for leisure if not downright sloth. but i think todd makes an interesting point in that over 95% of human history with preagricultural and people didn't wonder about the meaning of life.
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the meaning will of life was eat, survive and get your genes on to the next generation. there's a story in this book here at freedomfest a couple of years ago and he said something pretty profound. he said if you really believe that things were better back in the good old days, i have one word for you. dentistry. [laughter] anyway you have a question? tell me a question i will repeat it. [inaudible] marcus answering a fellow soap -- philosophical question about what is the good life? it almost seems to me it is not so much as a debate as it is, if you can answer what is the good
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life it will be more effective. >> the microphone is on. speaks these may. if you can answer what is the good life, in other words what i think arc you are talking about, and actually makes you more effective. in the rush, in the race. and i just want your comments on just exactly how opposite you guys oppose each other or are you really sort of you know, saying the same thing in different ways? >> i think you make a very good point. i'm sure mark and i in fact don't have strong disagreements about the value of some leisure time. obviously devotion to children and the like. the question is for me, mark was able to go to the bahamas. why was he able to go to the bahamas? probably there were some
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technology involved whether with telephones or fax machines or the internet and that allowed him that freedom. think about all the people you know today who actually work out of the home. marked as. i do to a large extent in the reason we can tell -- telecommute and the reason why major corporations like general electric have full-time employees who work out of their homes is because this rushing around develop technologies that allow his us impact to spend more time with her children. one of the reputations that i wanted to make was this image that the workplace is some nest of intrigue and vile motivation. in fact, in fact most people who are miserable in their life, most people who don't feel they are living the good life it is not because of the workplace. is because they are not getting along with their spouse or their children at their home and for most people who are miserable the workplace is an asylum, a place to go to to get away from the misery they have at home. so, what is the good life?
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i think certainly as aristotle and his protége martin pointed out the good life involves some balance. but also as alex pointed out, the only reason why we have the luxury to sit back and philosophize about are we happy is because modern society has given us the luxury, the material means to give us the time to sit around as opposed to scurrying around to subsist, to somehow get enough calories to live one more day. >> and i think also though there is still -- look. if you are an inventor, take thomas edison who has more patents than anybody who ever lived, he was a workaholic. i don't know if workaholic is in your book, but workaholic is a simple -- what is the reflection of a workaholic?
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it is the rat race. so those people are going to exist and they mainly are business people who are driven. we all know what that is like if we have run our own business. that is all we can think of is 18 hours a day or longer. we can hardly sleep. we want to get up in the morning and we are driven. and you go through cycles in life. i've gone through a cycle in life and even ben franklin ended his life. he was the one who started this whole thing, this epic -- work ethic and the industriousness and hard-working. he used to work like that. is very difficult for him. only the french taught him to slow down and relax and he finally could enjoy a card game and he played chess long in the hours in france because the rest of the time he was so super busy and so forth. so i think there is a difference between todd and i. i have learned to enjoy the
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presence. >> i have palm trees on my bond and. >> okay, but todd, you know, would you come to a conference like this and spend all three days for which you come in and give a speech in late? how do you handle conferences? via conference like this, i would have been delighted to have been here to hear the lecture on beethoven. rush is filled with all sorts of cultural references and in fact in my speech i mentioned frankie valli and the four seasons in the last lion was from what show, rocking the boat? guys and dolls, very good. >> that is great and it is important for people o no. >> the other thing that i didn't have a chance to do and i will do very briefly. there was fascinating studies that have been done about cognitive abilities and work. and the compared across countries individuals in their
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60s. people moving towards senior citizen had. in countries like france and austria, where people retire early. compare that to the u.s. and denmark were people in their 60s are largely still working. there's a difference in cognitive function. researchers asked people in their 60s in these countries and the researchers cited common household items, chair, and apple,, croissant nsba individuals to repeat back those items. in countries where people retire early in france and austria, they were unable to complete those simple mental tasks compared to in countries where people were still working. so the french retire early and they think they will spend their time eating pastries and doing crossword puzzles at the sidewalk café but in fact they can no longer find the café and they can complete the crossword puzzles. >> we have another question here. >> okay, with full disclosure i have to say that i may be a
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little bit leaning towards todd because i work for an on line university mostly dealing with the military so everyone i work with is hyperbusy. but the one question i have come i work with a lot of people who are young people and it does seem that there is a cultural difference that may beginning to happen among the gen x generation where they are putting perhaps an inordinate value on the balanced side and my supposition is because they have never known life without many of these luxuries until a post lehman world where things got a little tougher for them. i just was wondering if you think about it and think that is going to carry over overtime or as they grow older and have more responsibilities that perhaps it may be a different shift. before it was a rat race, then the value of leisure and now it may be leisure with later a value of rat race. >> first of all, certainly applaud mark's applause for recommendation of play.
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i think plays important but i'm very worried. i've got three daughters. i'm very worried about what the self-esteem movement has done to children. one of my daughters, catherine, when she was five years old was playing community soccer. i'm not one of those crazy parents with a whistle yelling in my children to make sure they are they're the best soccer player. anyway, my daughter was five years old at the time. a grandmother, my mother comes to watch the game. at halftime my mother says katherine what is the score? catherine says we are not allowed to keep score but it is 3-2. [laughter] we have taken children and banded many cases even spelling bee's from the schools. i ask you what happens to these children when they realize that in order to get a job, you may have to demonstrate some skill. you may have to demonstrate some extra effort. i'm very worried about their ability to handle those sorts of treasures because they have been raised in this isolated skinner
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box situation, where people try to insulate them from the normal pressures. one of the biggest mistakes of philosophers and psychologists these days is to define everything as stress. and you know we need some stress in our lives. stress gives us some reason to keep going. and we can keep going with another question. >> if we have time. >> i think actually we have less than a minute left. i thank you both for coming and if you think that todd vocals won the debate then you can hurry onto the next debate and if you think that dr. skousen one then you can amble onto the next event. i do want to announce that todd l. goals will be having a book signing at three time times the 30 this afternoon so if you would like to pick up a copy of russian have them sign that he will be there at three times the 30th allows a fair bookstore in the back of the hall. thank you so much for coming.